NETHERLANDS - ABN Amro today said it has launched the world's first climate change and environmental equity index as part of its eco-markets business platform.

"The index tracks the performance of listed companies involved in addressing climate change and environmental issues," the bank announced in a press release.

ABN Amro boasts that it is the world's first rules-based index that tracks the performance of stocks directly related to businesses that are involved in tackling the adverse effects of climate change and mitigating environmental degradation.

Paul Thind, who led the development of the index, said: "This is the first benchmark reference instrument that can be used both to invest in the growth potential of the market addressing climate change and also effectively manage and measure risk associated with these issues."

The index gives exposure to companies that address reduction of CO2 through renewable energy, clean soil and water through water and waste management, as well as cleaner and less toxic air and water through reduction in global warming emissions using catalytic converters.

"With eight sub-sectors and a maximum of four companies from each, the index comprises up to 32 stocks, offering diversified exposure," said the bank.

The index builds on the bank's range of individual eco-sector indices and is designed to reflect the development of sectors by measuring the changes in market capitalisation of underling sub-sectors.